Ayyala Venkateswara Rao (or simply Venkat, as everyone calls him), has been with TWI India for the past decade and is presently the Regional Manager for India. An unassuming, soft spoken person, today he heads the Indian operations and has steered it very well, especially during the current Covid 19 pandemic period, for which he received accolades from many.

Venkat was born in a small town in Andhra Pradesh and, since his father was a forest officer, he had to spend most of his childhood in a village, forest atmosphere, with lot of greenery, vegetation, flora and fauna. He had the opportunity to experience city life only after he joined an engineering college in a city to take his bachelor degree in mechanical engineering. He still fondly remembers his childhood days and narrates them to his children.

His career started right after his graduation, with Oil Country Tubular Ltd and this was followed by time spent at Nagarjuna Fertilisers. Both were in India and his experience focused on inspection and welding related activities from where the seeds of his interest in welding inspection germinated. Having gained sufficient experience, he decided to venture out of India and took up an assignment first in Qatar then in Dubai followed by Saudi Arabia. He worked in leading companies such as Qatar Electricity and Water, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and Saudi Aramco. Through these assignments, spread over a period of 12 years, he gained expertise in onshore and offshore inspection of equipment and became passionate about this activity.

It was when he was in Qatar, he came to know about TWI over a casual chat with a TWI person, which prompted him to take up the CSWIP certification and became a certified welding inspector. Thereafter he maintained regular interaction with TWI, though, even in the best of his dreams, he says, he never dreamt that one day he would be working for them. In addition to CSWIP welding inspector certification, today he holds NACE protective coating inspector and API inspector for piping and storage tanks.

That opportunity came in 2011, when his colleague, Jim Kerins, offered him a job at TWI India, which was being set up to cater to the Indian market. Venkat says, “it was a blessing and I had no second thought and I jumped on to the van and, from that day, there was no looking back and, over the past decade, I have witnessed the company growing by leaps and bounds to firmly establish its presence in India.”

Apart from offering regular CSWIP courses, TWI India, under the initiative taken by Venkat and his colleagues, has successfully completed the development of the plant inspector course and eLearning mode and has also developed marketing tools such as promotional videos.

Skill development is an area of immense interest in India and Government is also encouraging skill development initiatives. Taking a cue from this, TWI India embarked on a massive campaign offering our programmes like CSWIP Visual Welding Inspection, IOSH, and NDT, etc. So far, nearly 1900 candidates have been trained through these efforts in just 24 months.

Contributing to society has always received the constant attention of Venkat and he takes every opportunity to serve society. Every year the money from the corporate social responsibility account was spent usefully, like gifting a bus to a charity school and gifting a van for NDT mobile training activities. While the society was receiving its due attention, the employees were also not left behind. Celebrating the birthday of each employee, celebrating important festivals, and attending to employee grievances were among the activities designed to boost employee morale, and Venkat actively engaged himself in all of them to keep the team spirit high.

Today, Venkat has over 30 years of experience in the fields of welding, NDT, painting and plant inspection, etc. Under his stewardship, TWI India has not only grown in terms of revenue and profits, but has also earned a name as reliable, quality and useful training and certification centre on a pan-India basis. Today, leading industries are looking forward to get trained through TWI India programmes. And all this has happened in a relatively short period of 10 years. So, what is the success mantra for Venkat? He says, “do your work diligently, empower and involve your team, avoid procrastination, learn from each day.”

Venkat’s vision for the future of TWI India includes offering engineering services, making effective use of AI/VR/ML and bringing more effectiveness in training.

Venkat, a simple home-loving man, is a proud father of twins (a boy and a girl), who lives with his wife and children in Chennai, likes to spend quality time with his family and also enjoys trips with them to various destinations in India and abroad.